According to the Pew Research Center, “Around 30 percent of American workers make less than $10.10 per hour. That creates an income below the federal poverty level.”
2020 has shown us that the American honeymoon of one of the greatest democracies ever created, is clearly over.
Is there a big problem today?
We can no longer have a civil and open debate on controversial topics without being shamed by the woke police or banned by social platforms. Society has created peer pressure through the former and the latter self-regulate to their own moral compass, which swings wildly depending on the magnetic field of civil discourse.
Trump was a Twitter bully. But banning him at the will of the social media and tech elites will just create more civil unrest. The same holds true with Impeachment Part II.
To really start healing this country physically and mentally we should look to the strong leaders and team-builders of the past.
Nelson Mandela always comes to mind because, out of any world leader, he was positioned to really take massive revenge on his opponents. Instead, he took a different path. Below is an excerpt by the Chicago Tribune which demonstrates this:
“It wasn’t the 27 years Nelson Mandela spent in prison that was most significant.
It was what came afterward: His decision to reach past resentment, anger and revenge for the good of his nation.
Given the cruel history of the world and the bloody narratives of the prideful, two-legged predators who rule it, it would have been natural for Mandela to go the other way.
How many men have been in such a position, in that moment of time with irresistible power building at their backs, yet refusing to use it for anything but the common good?
I can only think of two others. One an American, another a Roman. Surely there must be a few more, and perhaps you’ll be kind enough to tell me about them.
But for now let’s just say that such men are rare.
So with Mandela’s passing this week at 95, with all the iconography surrounding him now, and the speeches of world leaders and the ambitions of operatives hoping to use him after death, we might consider that moment.
It was Feb. 11, 1990, when Mandela walked out of prison after almost three full decades.
He was a black man, a revolutionary who once preached armed violence on behalf of the African National Congress. He’d been jailed by a white apartheid government. And many were thinking this was finally their time of revenge.
Who would have been surprised? The blacks of South Africa wouldn’t have been the first oppressed group to grab the knives and cut their former masters down. And the arithmetic for the inevitable reckoning was right there before him.
All he had to do was raise his fist in rage, give an angry series of speeches, manufacture an incident to spark things up and South Africa would have descended into the kind of blood and horror that still plagues some of her neighbors.
South Africa could have gone that route. But Mandela didn’t make that angry speech. He didn’t raise that clenched fist. He didn’t unleash revenge against the whites who had victimized the blacks. Instead he preached tolerance and reconciliation. And so, his nation was spared.”
I don’t think we’d see a strong endorsement from Mandela of the House’s vote to further punish Trump in an attempt to revoke his ability to run for president again. It seems a lot like emotionally-charged revenge, as seems his ban from social media.
Reconciliation is the more difficult path to take; it’s all uphill and hard on the lungs. Revenge is the easy downhill slide and why many choose it.
Think about that for a moment and what the better path truly is for America.
What Can you Do Better for America?
I was at Harvard Business School (HBS) attending a lecture when the professor turned to the room of young professionals and asked them: “What is it that makes America so amazing?” The answers started flying.
“Anyone can make it here.”
“Doesn’t matter where you come from.”
“Greatest country on earth.”
“We are a land of immigrants, unlimited potential.”
These were a few of the answers. Yet, they were soon smashed flat like a bloody fly against a clean pane of window glass. In this case, the fly swatter was a slide and accompanying data showing how big the income gap really is today in America and how financial success is linked to the already wealthy.
The room went quiet.
The charts showed that the of America today is a lot like Russia and Latin America with regards to income level being proportionate to opportunity. Which is not like the America we used to love (read: I still do, it’s just harder these days).
The professor went on to ask that we all look deep inside and try and make a difference. But this much is clear. Nobody, including a room full of career politicians, is going to do it for us. It’s up to ALL of us to make positive change happen. I signed up for the two-year HBS program that night.
I’m trying my best to make a difference in my own way. And America would be better off if we all asked what we can do for the country we all still love.